Friday, November 9, 2007

Preschool Saints

We love the Miniature Stories of the Saints series in this house. Four small booklets in all - Vols. I and III are devoted to male saints and Vols. II and IV to women saints. Each saint's life is depicted in short, single-page story form accompanied by a colorful illustration on the opposite page. Those beautiful illustrations (they really are striking) and the simple stories captivate my girls' interest and attention and always provoke discussion. The fact that the books are divided by gender enables my girls to focus on female saints, which are naturally more appealing to them.

So why did I tear these booklets apart with my scissors? Well, my little ones are big into imaginative play these days. A new character and accompanying story emerge from their bedrooms every day. Our home has hosted fairies, storybook characters, saints, ballerinas, princesses, nurses, mothers, firefighters and much more. So, Gianna and I were reading these little saint's stories the other day and I thought, why not let her choose which saint she would like to be, say, for a week. During that week she could remind herself (with subtle help!) every morning what virtues that saint emulated, what good deeds she accomplished for others, how she prayed or taught or obeyed her superiors. And Gianna could "be" that particular saint for the day/week.

So we cut the booklets apart, making a wall hanging of the illustrations along with a note indicating her feast day and patronage. Gianna rubbed off floral transfers to make the cards a little prettier and we'll hang them up using wall putty.

practicing with the transfers

Saints for November:
Gertrude, Elizabeth of Hungary, Cecilia
and Catherine of Alexandria

This week Gianna is St. Catherine of Alexandria. She likes St. Catherine's wheel and the fact that it broke when it touched her body. Today she is working on "praying for mean people who hurt others".


scmom (Barbara) said...

Very clever idea. Those ARE beautiful images. That would be a great idea for using old holy cards. Thanks!

Catherine said...

Wow! That's a wonderful idea. Thank you so much for sharing.

Frances said...

I just brought my two treasured volumes with me to youth ministry this past Sunday. I led a discussion on saints and shared the books with my small group to help illustrate why I chose St. Jane Frances de Chantal as my confirmation patron saint. She was the perfect combination of wife, mother, and saint - very appealing to a thirteen-year-old who already suspected God would call her to marriage and family life.

I never would have thought of cutting up the booklets (they mean so much to me) - thanks for the link that shows copies are not very expensive and still available!

Kristen Laurence said...

Thank you for visiting, everyone!

Frances, the beautiful illustration of St. Jane Frances is one of my favorites in the series. And don't worry, I ordered another set - mine were beginning to fall apart. I plan on reserving the wall cards in a notebook to rotate by month, but the girls have their new booklets on the way. :)

Ouiz said...

I grew up reading these books, so of course I had to buy a set for my kids as well!

Beautiful idea on decorating the room with the images! Seeing as my name saint is one of the ones you have listed here, and my confirmation saint is another one listed, I'm rather fond of the pictures you chose!

Alice Gunther said...

Tremendously beautiful, Kristen. We own this lovely series, and I love your ideas!

stephanie said...

I grew up with those very books on my own bookshelf and I treasured them immensely. I loaned them to a friend when I was in college and never got them back...I think I will have to get the set for a Christmas present to divide between my childrens stockings (2 boys and 2 girls) this year.

FYI: I still have (and my girls love the pictures in "The Rosary: Roses of Prayer for The Queen of Heaven" by the same author)

Jeannine said...

Your ideas are so pretty and fuss-free! I have to say, my heart jumped when I saw this idea, because I was given one of these little books by a religious education teacher when I was about 11 (it's just called "Book Two" - I think there were just two volumes way back when!) and it was one of my most cherished books! I still have it; it now sits in my little prayer drawer along with my Beads of Mercy rosary and some spiritual books. I haven't read it in a while, though! I think we might sit down with it now! Thank you, Kristen.

MarieC said...

What a great idea! The copies we have a mine from childhood...and are falling apart.

One of my girls was St. Catherine of Alexandria for All Saints Day a few years ago...we were able to make a wheel out of a large piece of cardboard.